Can an Uneducated Teen Be Successful?

A young adult at Yahoo! Answers, who was homeschooled, is having trouble finding her way. She asked this question:

I was homeschooled from 7th grade on. 7ths and 8th grade my mom did with my brother and I. Highschool we did on our own, it was from Harcourt Learning Direct (used to be ICS, and Thompson Education Direct). I didn’t really understand anything because I hate reading so I just skipped to the tests at the end, almost flunked on Math but I cheated from my brothers books so I would pass. But I’m not really smart. Infact, even 6th grade which was public school I didn’t do good.

Am I doomed to be stupid with no job? How did the rest of you do that were home schooled?

Here was my answer to her, which she chose as the best answer.

In all honesty, this isn’t a homeschooling question. There are many just-graduated teens from public or private school who are wondering the same thing.

Also, there are enough stupid people with jobs out there, that it’s clear that intelligence is not an essential component to having a job.

A large number of very successful people in this world came from less-than perfect childhoods, and many were not good students (or were not traditionally educated).

So, what makes people successful?

1) They do not define who they are by their problems. Successful people define themselves by who they believe themselves to be. That’s why someone who doesn’t seem like she’s “all that” can do very well, while someone who is obviously talented can bomb. It’s all about how we perceive ourselves. You’ll have a hard time being successful if you continue to see yourself as stupid or uneducated. In other words, you have to believe in yourself before anyone else will.

2) Successful people have goals. What are your goals? Even if you have a Harvard degree, if you have no goals, it will be hard to find success.

3) Successful people keep on going. No matter what. You don’t have a degree, or knowledge, or ability? Keep going anyway. Don’t let that stop you. Keep learning, getting stronger, understanding yourself and your world.

4) Success does not get handed to you on a silver platter. Success doesn’t come from the outside, it comes from the inside. If that is true, then it doesn’t matter where you went to school. You’re out of school now, if you want to be successful and satisfied in your life, that’s your responsibility that you have to take seriously. Waiting for someone or something to give it to you will be a lifelong wait.

5) Lastly, successful people don’t whine. Seriously. Successful people don’t complain, blame people or things, or otherwise put negative energy out into the universe. If you want to be successful, you have to act successful. Whining about how you’re not smart or didn’t have a good enough education will only convince people that’s true and keep you in a constant state of wondering when you’ll be successful.

Very, very few people who are successful as adults will tell you that their young years were full of nothing but win after win. Successful people generally have gone through many struggles, and it’s how they pick their behinds up, brush themselves off, and start over, again and again, that makes them successful.

Given that, so long as you are alive, you always have the opportunity to have a successful adult life. It’s up to you.

Other similar posts:

Perfect Homeschooling, Regretting Decisions, and Curriculum Choice
Top 10 Tips for Deschooling

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11 Responses to “Can an Uneducated Teen Be Successful?”

  1. momlovesbeingathome Says:

    What a great response, Tammy!

  2. Zayna Says:

    Very well thought out and well put advice Tammy.

    I would also add that a firm definition of “personal” success helps you set your priorities into achievable and satifisfying goals.

    For one person success might mean a fullfilling and exciting career, for another maybe an unusual and interesting hobby or for someone else it might mean having a happy and loving family.

    BTW, so loved your last one. Successful people don’t whine.

    Well, at least in general. Everyone whines sometimes. 🙂

  3. sunniemom Says:

    That’s a great answer, Tammy. When I first saw that post, I immediately thought “Troll”, but even if she is, many will read your answer and realize the truths in it apply to everyone, not just homeschoolers.

  4. Fairly Odd Mother Says:

    Very good response. Should be handed to every high school and college senior!

  5. Melissa Says:

    Outstanding answer! I agree, should be given to all young adults about to be unleashed to the larger world.

  6. Michelle Says:

    Well said, Tammy.

  7. Tammy Takahashi Says:

    Thanks everyone. Feel free to pass my post along to whomever you think could benefit 🙂

    Zyana – Good point. Success means different things to different people.

    sunnie – Also a good point. If she is for real, she’s still very young, and hasn’t figured out who she is yet. I suppose we were all there once. Maybe not all willing to spill that truth all over the internet, but we were there.

  8. Victoria Says:

    I just found this blog. What a great response. I agreee this would help so many young adults, I know a few I will give this to.

  9. Brendab Says:

    This great and useful article is applicable to every one in every walk of life. I think what distinguishes a successful person from someone not successful is perseverance. How much can you take and how much can you continue to give to meet the goal. The goal can be anything: graduating from high school, graduating from college, saving the money to leave the work world and travel for a year, learn a language and relocate to another part of the world for a while, etc.

    I think that not everyone is meant to go to a traditional school, some are meant to apprentice, and some are meant to eventually find their own path to self-fulfillment and financial support. I also think that some degree of “luck” is created, or maybe just the right timing is created when the person has worked hard to achieve a goal and the right doors begin to open. The perseverance to get proficient at anything opens a person’s eyes to opportunities they might have overlooked (a frame of mind thing).

    I also think it takes a certain willingness to discover what one likes to do; anyone can get good at anything, it does not mean you are going to enjoy doing it. And, we are living longer, so we can probably expect to have at least three careers in our lifetime – is that too conservative an estimation?

  10. ELIOTZ Says:

    If you received the worst homeschool education ever, it wasnt much worse than you would have gotten at a public school. As long as you can read, write, add, subtract and multiply, you know more than most high school graduates. Statistically you have a better chance of being a success if you had never graduated at all. Check the link..
    http://www.education-reform.net/dropouts.htm

    Nothing can stop you now!

  11. ELIOTZ Says:

    Apparently successful people don’t a lot of things, like graduate or listen to other peoples advice.


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